Ivory Netsuke of two Red “Popeyed” Goldfish | Signed
Popeyed goldfish are a relatively small member of the carp family (which also includes the Japanese Koi). They were first domesticated more than a thousand years ago, and kept in miniature ornamental ponds and water gardens, just like Koi.
The Japanese recognize the Koi family not just for their beauty, but also for their ability to transform the observer into other worldly states of perception. These altered states of perception ultimately lead to the attraction of high energy and this manifests in the form of prosperity of all kinds in our lives. In Japanese symbolism, Koi represent perseverance in adversity and strength of purpose and in Japanese folklore represent the overcoming of obstacles.
Shown are two popeyed goldfish in full detail and deeply carved. They appear to be mates, with their beautiful tails in full display. The piece is antique (ca. 1900’s), naturally patinated ivory, and signed on the back but not identified, with the standard holes (Himo-toshi) so as to hand from the Inro.
Dimensions: 1 ¾”w x1-0”h x 1 ½”d
NOTE: Thanks to preservation efforts, animals and endangered materials (e.g. ivory and rare woods) are conservatively used today, if not banned altogether. However, we recognize that these materials have been important since ancient times for making a wide range of functional and decorative items. We only feature antique ivory and rare tree species because, while we support conservation, we truly feel that the experience and appreciation of historic artifacts should also be preserved.